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The loss of teeth can have a significant impact on your life and self-esteem due to aesthetic implications.  Missing teeth can also cause bite problems and difficulties with eating.  Previously, the only solution for replacing missing teeth was fixed bridges or dentures.

However, more recently, dental implants have become a more comfortable, effective and permanent solution.  Dental implants will look, function and feel like your own natural teeth.  Let’s take a closer look at dental implants in Scottsdale and how Dr. Sara can help restore your smile.

The Negative Effect of Missing Teeth

The effects of missing teeth can be detrimental to your long-term oral and medical health.  Replacing missing teeth can dramatically improve your smile and the shape of your face.  Gaps in your teeth often affect the way that your jaw closes, which causes the remaining teeth to begin to tilt and move into the gaps. Not only can your teeth begin to shift, but food can become trapped in the gaps as well, which increases your risk for developing gum disease and tooth decay.

How Dental Implants Work

Before dental implants can be placed, your bone density will be assessed to ensure that you have sufficient quality and quantity of bone tissue available where the implant will be placed. If there is insufficient bone or significant bone loss has occurred, then you may need bone grafting before the implant can be placed.

Implants are typically placed in one sitting, but require a period of osseointegration, which is the process in which direct anchorage of the dental implant root and the bone of the jaw occur. Dental implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, and are permanent, making this procedure a good solution to tooth loss.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Not only do dental implants replace missing teeth, but they can provide you with a variety of other benefits. Some added advantages of dental implants include:

  • Improved appearance
  • Improved speech
  • Improved comfort
  • Easier eating
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Durability
  • Improved oral health
  • Convenience

A tooth should be replaced as soon as it is lost in order to maintain your oral health and further prevent bone loss, as well as to avoid excess decay.  If you have missing teeth it is important to visit Dr. Sara, our dentist here in North Scottsdale, AZ to schedule a proper consultation to create a treatment plan.

At Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, Dr. Sara, our dentist here in North Scottsdale, offers different options for a beautiful, sparkly smile that you deserve. Cosmetic dentistry has proven to be an important aspect to the dental profession in helping to make your mouth gorgeous. In addition to giving you a shiny smile, cosmetic dentistry is also used to repair an imperfect mouth such as an overbite or crooked teeth, chipped teeth or missing teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry Services in Scottsdale

We want to help you gain a healthy, glowing smile that lasts a lifetime. To help to achieve your glowing smile, we have listed four common cosmetic dental procedures below:

  • Whitening – One of the most popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry. It is a simple and effective technique to obtain a whiter smile.
  • Bonding – Tooth colored composite is placed to “fill in the blanks.” It is commonly used to fill in the gap between front teeth.
  • Contouring – The process of shaping your natural teeth to improve their appearance.
  • Veneers – Porcelain facings that are bonded to the front surfaces of teeth. Veneers can be used to whiten teeth, close spaces, straighten teeth, or repair chipped or worn teeth.

While these options are the most popular, there are many other procedures that can be done to perfect your smile. We can help change your smile for the better that will make you feel more confident. Having a dentist that you can trust to be friendly and personal is what we strive for. Call Dr. Sara today to discuss your cosmetic dental inquiry in North Scottsdale, AZ.

We need our teeth to eat properly, so when one is damaged it can take a toll on your day-to-day life. In order to continue to protect your teeth and overall wellbeing, it is important to repair damaged teeth.

At Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, dental crowns are utilized to perform the following:

  • Attach bridges
  • Cover implants
  • Prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse
  • Restore an existing filling

Looking for an improved aesthetic appearance? When applied to discolored or stained teeth needing restoration, dental crowns provide a natural, improved appearance.

Dental Crown Aftercare

Once your dental crown is in place, it is important to maintain proper care of your teeth. While a crown has provided a newly restored tooth, it doesn’t mean the tooth is indestructible. And, what’s even better is that with proper care, a good quality crown can last even longer. Remember to brush and floss the area of the crown daily to avoid excess plaque buildup or collection of debris around the restoration.

It is also important to pay attention to other behaviors that might damage the dental crown. These behaviors often include jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding). Try to avoid eating brittle foods, ice, or hard candy. In doing so, the adhesion of the crown can be compromised or damaged.

Contact Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about dental crowns in North Scottsdale, and how this restoration procedure might be able to restore the appearance and functionality of your smile.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a common condition, but not many people are aware they suffer from this condition. An estimated 10 million to 35 million Americans currently suffer from TMD, with women being impacted more often than men. Now that is a lot of people! And to think, not many even realize they suffer from this painful condition. If you suffer from TMD, it is important to visit Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry (PPFD) to gain a better understanding of what treatment options are available to help eliminate your pain.

What is Oral Appliance Therapy for TMD?

While TMD cannot be completely cured, it can be treated to eliminate and manage pain. The first goal of treatment is to relieve the muscle spasm and pain, in addition to establishing normal range of motion of the lower jaw. At Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, we will work with you to determine the best oral appliance therapy option for your individual symptoms.

Oral appliances, or TMD orthotics, resemble mouth guards—they easily form to the teeth for optimal protection and treatment. While one appliance option might work for one patient, it may not work for another patient. This is why we create custom oral appliances to meet each individual’s needs for TMD treatment in North Scottsdale, AZ.

Through TMD oral appliances, you can receive pain relief from TMD. Take charge of your health today by contacting us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry in North Scottsdale, AZ. We look forward to being your partner in improved health and reduction of TMD pain.

Diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) can often be difficult. Why? Because of a less than clear understanding of the causes and exact symptoms affecting TMD and the surrounding muscles—many healthcare professionals are hesitant. Fortunately, many dentists who have completed continuing education courses are able to properly diagnose TMD. And they’re not afraid to look deeper into the condition.

The Characteristics of TMD

Symptoms of TMD are characteristic of a number of other conditions, which is why diagnosis can be extremely difficult. Some symptoms that might mimic the characteristics of TMD include:

  • Toothache
  • Sinus infection
  • Ear infection
  • Facial neuralgias
  • Myofascial pain
  • Headaches

If pain in the jaw area is being experienced, tests will be recommended to rule out or confirm the presence of any conditions, including TMD.

The TMD Diagnosis

When conducting an examination of a patient experiencing pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) region, a detailed health history will be taken to look for any injuries, traumas, procedures or conditions that may be contributing to the apparent symptoms. Your TMJ will also be examined, along with the bones and muscles of the jaw, mouth, face, neck and head to note the following:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Limited motion
  • Locking of the jaw when opening, closing, or moving the jaw side-to-side

While there is no standard, widely accepted test used to diagnose TMD, there are several tests that might aid in the diagnostic process:

  • X-rays of the face, joint and teeth
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT)

A majority of TMD cases cannot be cured, but there are treatment options available to help prevent the worsening of your condition, as well as pain. The underlying cause of TMD does not need to be known to provide quality care for someone diagnosed with TMD.

Contact us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about TMD and how we can help combat your pain. Reach out today—there’s no sense in just “dealing with” pain.

Do you know what sleep apnea is? Well, how about the causes of sleep apnea? We are here to help you gain a better understanding of what causes sleep apnea so you can be alert and aware of this condition. By understanding the causes of sleep apnea, you can take the right steps toward improved health and sleep—we know how important that is.

A Recap of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It is caused by a blockage of the breathing passage or a collapsed airway. With a blocked airway, it is difficult to breathe—keeping air from traveling freely.

When you’re awake, throat muscles help keep your airway stiff and open so air can flow into your lungs. However, when you are sleeping, these muscles relax, which narrows your throat. Normally, this narrowing of your throat doesn’t prevent air from flowing into and out of your lungs, but when you’re asleep you can’t control the airflow.

The Causes of Sleep Apnea

If you have sleep apnea, your airway can become partially or fully blocked because of the following reasons:

  • Your throat muscles and tongue relax more than normal.
  • Your tongue and tonsils are large compared to the opening into your windpipe.
  • You’re overweight.
  • The shape of your head and neck may cause a smaller airway size in the mouth and throat area.
  • The aging process limits your brain signals’ ability to keep your throat muscles stiff during sleep.

As a result, not enough air flows into your lungs if your airway is partially or fully blocked during sleep. In the end, you or your loved one will experience loud snoring and a drop in your blood oxygen level.

Contact Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about sleep apnea and the causes. Through a better understanding of sleep apnea’s causes, you can get a better night’s sleep.

Tax season is now over, which means your stresses can go away, right? It’s possible. While you might have the stresses of tax season off your shoulders, there are other life stresses that can cause you to be on edge. While it might seem impossible to have a stress-free life, you can at least work toward limiting your stress as much as possible. After all, your health is on the line. Let’s take a look at some ways to keep your stress levels down this year.

Time Management

Where is your time management? An important part of eliminating stress in your life is incorporating proper time management. This is a way to find the time for more of the things you want to do, and might need to do. Time management can help you better decide on what is urgent and what can wait—trust us, there are things that can wait and should wait. Learning to manage your time can make all the difference in your life, making your life easier, less stressful and more meaningful.

Assess Your Lifestyle

The choices you make everyday can affect your stress levels, too. While your lifestyle alone might not cause stress, it can prevent your body from recovering from it. When it comes to your lifestyle, try to balance your time between personal, work and family needs.

Your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping. But, if your worrying is keeping you from sleeping, try to keep a notepad or your cell phone nearby to record your thoughts in order to help you let it go while you sleep. It is also important to eat a healthy diet and increase your exercise—don’t forget to add these to your day-to-day schedule.

What are Your Stresses?

If you are stressed, try thinking about what might be causing that stress. Management of stress always starts with identification. It may not always be easy, but it will help to think about and draw focus to different areas of your life that you may not be aware are causing you stress. Until you can identify what is causing your stress, you won’t be able to take the next step toward stress relief—so think long and hard.

By combating stress, you can help to prevent TMD and other facial problems that can cause an immense amount of pain. Stress often triggers jaw pain or teeth grinding, which can also lead to headaches and dental pain. Understanding stress and the complications associated will help you lead a healthier, happier life.

Take charge of your life and contact us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry for more information about how stress might negatively affect your oral health, and ways you can limit stress.

It might be the question of the year! So, do you know the answer to this question? Are genes to blame for your tooth decay? It sounds more like an easy way of saying you have bad teeth because your dad or your mom had the same. Think again.

The composition of our oral bacteria when we are very young is influenced by our genetic background. However, as we age that changes based on your diet and oral hygiene. I was reading a recent study that looked at this question a lot closer than I have ever thought of doing.

Tooth decay is a major global health issue that we need to solve somehow–don’t you agree? It’s so bad that up to 90 percent of school-age kids and nearly 100 percent of adults worldwide have cavities–Yuck! This can be from frequent intake of sugars, which leads to an acid environment in the mouth that attacks tooth enamel, leading to the dreaded cavity.

So what can you do? Well, it’s actually quite simple. You must take care of your teeth. While your teeth are initially are affected by your genes, it is actually you that is in charge of their health as you age. Brush and floss daily, watch your sugar intake, maintain a healthy diet and drink a lot of water, but skip the sugary drinks such as pop or certain fruit juices.

And if you have any other questions or need further guidance in ensuring you’re maintaining the best oral care possible, contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry. As a dentist in the North Scottsdale area, she is dedicated to ensuring you’re always smiling.

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